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Great Naval Battles of the Pacific War (Hardback)

The Official Admiralty Accounts: Midway, Coral Sea, Java Sea, Guadalcanal and Leyte Gulf

Maritime > Naval Military > Frontline Books > Frontline: Naval WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Japan & the Pacific Front > Battle of Midway WWII > Naval Warfare WWII

By John Grehan
Frontline Books
Pages: 296
Illustrations: 32 images in a central plate section
ISBN: 9781399011686
Published: 17th May 2022



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The key naval battles against Imperial Japan in the Pacific during the Second World War have been described many times by numerous diligent and skilful historians. Such histories are, of course, the products of many years, even decades, of accumulated knowledge, but also of a received consensus of how the war played out to its, seemingly, inevitable conclusion. That of course is not how it was perceived at the time. Hindsight, as we know, gives us 20/20 vision. The accounts here, compiled for and on behalf of the Admiralty, were written either during or immediately after the end of the war before historians had begun to give their assessments of these momentous events.

These accounts were written for internal consumption, to guide and instruct naval officers. It was never intended that they would be released to the general public. As such, there was no jingoistic drum beating, no axes to grind, no new angles to try and find. The authors of these accounts relate each battle, move by move, as they unfolded, accurately and dispassionately.

This makes these accounts so invaluable. They read almost like a running commentary, as action follows action, minute follows minute. This sensation is magnified by the absolute impartiality of the authors, their sole attempt being to provide a thorough but very clear and comprehensible record so that others in the future could understand precisely how each battle was fought.

These accounts can never be superseded and never replaced. Written by naval officers of the time for naval officers of the future, they are the permanent record of the great victories, and the sobering defeat in the Java Sea, during the struggle for control of the Pacific which, for many months, hung precariously in the balance.

"...anyone interested in the technical application of tactics and strategy, or the movements and actions of individual ships during these engagements will find much to offer here."

The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer/Été 2023) - the Canadian Nautical Research Society

A wonderful source and well worth the read. It adds precise evidence and provides confirmation of what historians over the years have pointed out was important about these battles.

The NYMAS Review

Review as featured in

Read the full review here: https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/article/john-grehans-great-naval-battles-of-the-pacific-war/

Warfare History Network

"This work is a valuable historical record for the generalist reader as well as those with a deeper interest. Highly recommended!"

Martin Willoughby, The Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association

This book provides naval warfare students an unvarnished look at how contemporary leaders saw these battles and their lessons.

WWII History Feb 2023 Issue

As featured in

Sussex Local

Factual, original and free of bias and excessive analysis Great Naval Battles of the Pacific War was written by naval officers for their brethren and forms a fine reference for contemporary research.

Read the review here

Australian Naval Institute

This has been a really good book to read and I have enjoyed the formal approach to normal as a change.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

The big positive of this book is the quantity and quality of the information about the five major actions of the naval war in the Pacific.

Full review available at: https://www.clash-of-steel.co.uk/reviews/view/323

Clash of Steel

About John Grehan

JOHN GREHAN has written, edited or contributed to more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

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